Bernadette Brady
November 2006

Strange echoes from the past are not unusual within astrology. Indeed they are the nature of cycles – that curious blend of repeating themes, always a little different but also always similar. The feature of the visual astrology for this coming month is the isolation of Saturn. In the predawn light Saturn will be seen culminating as it slowly approaches the great Lion with its beating red heart of Regulus. No other planets will be visible in the night sky until Mercury makes a dim reappearance in the dawn light in the middle of the month. The Moon will join Saturn and quietly pass over the top of him (for the northern hemisphere, or just below for those of you watching from the southern hemisphere).

In searching the translations from the Mesopotamian astrologer/priests from around the time of 600 BCE they seem to be silent about the meaning of such isolation. However, the astrologer priest Balasi did send this message to his king:

Tonight Saturn approached the moon.
Saturn is the star of the sun, (and) the relevant
interpretation is as follows: it is good for the
king. The sun is the star of the king.[1]

As we have seen before, the image of the planet Saturn as it moves through the constellations represents the king and when joined by Sin, the moon god, it was considered a good omen. But what of the king’s isolation? With this question in mind, and not finding any ancient text to help with the interpretation, I decided to scan for earlier times with similar sky stories. 

In scanning over a thousand years of history, I found only one other time with a similar sky map. The last time we had a solitary king anywhere near the stars of Leo with no support from any other planet was in October-November 1946 – sixty years ago. In that month (on 1st October, 1946) the big news story was the final verdict of the Nuremberg Tribunal which sentenced to death by hanging Hermann Goering and eleven other Nazi war criminals. A firing squad was ruled out as it was considered to be too dignified for the convicted Nazis. 

The current night sky is similar to this time of 60 years – a sky with Saturn near the stars of Leo and no other planets visible. Of course the main news story of this month is the sentencing to death by hanging of Saddam Hussein for crimes against humanity.

Next month all this changes, and for those of us learning the craft of visual astrology, we will see the return of Jupiter rising before the sun but now amongst the stars of the Scorpion. Next month I will focus on this potential new contender to a throne, this possible candidate who walks onto the world stage. But for now, if you are up early and can see a sky, have a look at that isolated king. It does not happen too often but it does, I think, carry a strong message. 

 [1]  Hunger, Herman. (1992). Astrological Reports to Assyrian Kings. Helsinki, Finland: Helsinki University Press. pg.55.